“Out of the underground and into the sunlight”—the direction NBA Commissioner Adam Silver urged for sports betting in an op-ed earlier this month, which is why we decided to ask our readers, ““Will another league commissioner come out in support of sports betting before the Super Bowl?”
53% said, “No” and 47% voted, “Yes.”
When Adam Silver assumed the commissioner role in Feb 24, NBA fans knew that he would bring a new perspective to the league. He first showed it as he faced the Clippers’ Donald Sterling’s I-hate-African-American controversy with authority and leadership.
On November 13, Silver once again showed the sports community that his progressive mindset wasn’t going anywhere when his statement that the advent of sports gambling is “inevitable” and “he wants the league to get out in front of it” was followed by an essay published in The New York Times expressing his support to legalize sports gambling, opposed to the two-decade stance of NBA and other major leagues and college sports.
He made an argument for regulation and technological safeguards for legal sports betting while also noting an “obvious appetite” for sports gambling among fans. Perhaps not coincidentally, the essay was published a day after the NBA signed a deal with fantasy sports website FanDuel.
Betting on professional sports is illegal in US states outside of Nevada. In 1992, the leagues supported the passage by Congress of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, which generally prohibits states from allowing sports betting. Despite the legal restriction, bets are placed on almost every professional game. Someone somewhere is even wagering on the Philadelphia 76ers games.
What’s next in New Jersey sports betting saga?
With the federal judge blocking New Jersey’s bid to allow sports betting, state officials are focusing their efforts on an appeals court where they expect to have much better odds of prevailing while other proponents are setting their sights on a broader goal—getting Congress to revisit the 22-year-old federal law.
Next week, we ask our readers, “When will Caesars file for bankruptcy?” as Caesars Entertainment Corp. cited “substantial doubt” about the ability of the company’s main operating unit to survive past next year without restructuring its debt, possibly through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Check back next week to see what our readers think.